In an interview for Banja Luka-based daily newspaper Nezavisne novine, outgoing Swedish Ambassador to Bosnia and Herzegovina Anders Hagelberg said that the main goal of Sweden’s activities in BiH was to prepare the country for European integration.
“We are focused on the rule of law, ecology and economic development. We have worked a lot on gender equality. Also, we greatly assisted in fight against air pollution and improvement of energy efficiency”, explained Hagelberg.
Swedish Ambassador underlined that Bosnia and Herzegovina was faced with many challenges. “In my opinion, the membership in the EU is a logical choice for BiH. In fact, I do not even see an alternative. The EU is a very complex structure and anyone who aspires to become a member must be capable of coping with everything this complex legal structure contains. This requires reforms within the country and guidelines for this have been clearly pointed out in the Opinion of the European Commission”, he said.
Hagelberg noted that Sweden has secured approximately EUR 19 million in 2019 for projects in Bosnia and Herzegovina. “BiH is the biggest recipient of our assistance in the Western Balkans. Our ultimate goal is to defeat poverty worldwide. We assist European integration in the Balkans and in the end, for us, it all comes down to solidarity”, Hagelberg explained.
Outgoing Swedish Ambassador to Bosnia and Herzegovina concluded that local politicians needed to be ready to make compromises, adding that he hoped those willing to make compromises would be rewarded in the end.